The Defense Department awarded Pratt & Whitney an undefinitized contract worth up to $1.2 billion for the F135 engines that will power the 30 F-35 strike fighters built during the aircraft’s fifth production lot, announced the company. “We anticipate contract negotiations with the F-35 joint program office that will reflect the great progress being made on F135 affordability,” said Bennett Croswell, president of Pratt’s Military Engines business unit. Pratt will supply engines for 21 Air Force F-35A aircraft, three Marine Corps F-35B airplanes, and six Navy F-35C platforms, with deliveries slated to begin in late-2012. The contract includes the engines, along with spare parts, management and engineering services, and sustainment and field support. Last year, Pratt received $138 million for the long-lead-time materials for these engines. In December, Lockheed Martin received a $4 billion contract for the 30 F-35 Lot 5 low-rate initial production, or LRIP 5, aircraft.
Boeing’s receipt of the 10th lot contract award for the KC-46 Pegasus this week leaves just three lots left to complete the Air Force’s buy of the tanker, although a further buy of 75 additional aircraft as a “bridge” to the Next-Generation Aerial-refueling System (NGAS) seems increasingly likely.